2019 Power Inverter Buying Guide
Understanding and buying a power inverter of the right size type voltage and purpose should be the first stop in designing a wind or solar system. Solar Deep cycle battery storage is one of the biggest hurdles to implementation of renewable energy solutions world wide. currently when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining without battery storage that is the end of the party. No continual source of power. Unlike nuclear power, coal and or to some extent even hydroelectric there is minimal or no control over when the wind blows or the sun shines.
In some circles the idea of grid tied car batteries from electric cars being utilized in a quasi dual purposed functionality has been proposed in theory by a number of people. That brings us to the current juncture of where we are at in renewable wind and solar energy systems. We have grid ties systems where as the use of micro inverters and or grid ties such as the SMA, or solar edge or Fronius are used. The positive of these type systems is obviously the elimination of the cost of batteries. In some instance where the payback from the electric company is paid out at an equal footing as is the energy per kilowatt hours produced purely from a financial perspective sometime when going solar these type of systems make sense. The downside or less appealing aspect being that when the wind is not blowing or the sun is shining there is no power available to the home or commercial property thought your solar or wind system. Without energy storage it is impossible to run independent of the grid without the use of a backup generator.
This brings us to the second type of system which is the grid tie interactive system which for me at least presents the best of both worlds. With these type of systems Grid Tie inverts that utilize battery back up are commonly known as grid tie interactive inverter such as outback Radian 8048 or Schneider Electric 6848 which are also split phase providing both 120/240 volt to the power grid and powers home loads . Through utilizing backup batteries these inverters can use battery power in time periods between gusts of wind or stored energy from sunshine when the sun is behind a cloud to use stored energy to power your home. The battery power also is used to power surge loads in the home to power loads that are heavier account for more wattage than the panels can provide at given moment in time.
The last major type of system we use in the stand alone inverter charger unit. The magnum 4448 4024 and some of the previous previous mentioned grid tie interactive which can be programed for off grid use. Unlike the direct grid tie these systems have to have backup batteries. In the absence of backup batteries they will not work. These systems are best when coupled with a backup generator so that in the event that the batteries are discharged below the recommended discharge level then the generator can be kicked on and the charger function can go through a cycle to bring the batteries back up to the recommended charge level. This can frequently be adjusted and should account for the recommended depth of charge and charge rate for the battery bank the system is designed for. Off grid systems are frequently incorporated with inverter charger and a critical loads panel in homes as a source of emergency power when the home owner desires a backup emergency power source but does not want to get into a grid tie agreement or prefers not to disclose for personal reasons the fact that they are using renewable energy technologies.
All of these types of systems are right for various customers depending on there needs and reasons for buying a solar system in the first place. Inverter choices on grid off grid ties interactive batteries or not are some of the first decision which should be considered when designing a wind and solar or renewable energy system. At Hurricane wind power we are available to speak with you about the pro's con;s and help guide you in making a decision in designing a system if after reading about the system types you feel you need further guidance. This is meant as a general tutorial and sometime considerable though and consideration should be put into making this decision as it will guide many aspects of the functionality payback and operation of your system.